A.I.C = INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CHARITIES – (LADIES OF CHARITY)
The AIC are a Vincentian lay organisation, of mainly women, dedicated to continuing the mission St Vincent encouraged the laity to perform in 1617, when he organised people into groups of “charities” to help the marginalized in society. We strongly feel that we are today carrying on that charism, adapted to our times, in helping support St Vincent’s fundamental plan in “Acting together against all forms of poverty”.
During the 1960’s, post Vatican 2, some branches of the Ladies of Charity began to feel the need of renewal. In many countries, the word “Ladies” which appeared in the title was seen to be no longer suitable. In 1971, delegates from 22 associations met in an Extraordinary Assembly and voted a new Constitution and By-Laws and officially adopted the name International Association of Charities (AIC). Some member organisations call themselves by their favoured name; Volontarias Vincentiannes in Spain or remained called the Ladies of Charity such as in the USA, and they are all full participating members of AIC. In the UK and Ireland, branches in Manchester, Birmingham, Sheffield, Cork and Dublin remained as independent Ladies of Charity, and we are all part of the same Vincentian Family.
AIC is now present in many countries of Europe, Latin America, North America, Asia and Africa. It counts 53 associations, with more than 200,000 members. As a worldwide association, AIC is conscious of the fact that it has a role to play on the international level. To fulfil this role, its associations are represented with governmental and nongovernmental organisations. AIC has consultative status with UNESCO, ECOSOC and the European Parliament.
It collaborates with many other bodies, at a supranational level and it participates in networks and exchanges. It is a member of CIAS (International Committee for Social Action), the ICO Conference (International Catholic Organisations), and of WUCWO (World Union of Catholic Women’s Organisations).
Participation in initiatives in favour of women is coherent with AIC’s goals, but not exclusively so, as in the UK we are very involved in male prison visiting. Being from its origin an association of women, it pays particular attention to the situation of poor women and girls in developing countries, doubly penalised because they are women and marginalised. AIC always strives to gain greater knowledge of the needs of these women, as well as the situations of injustice and violence in which they live.
International website: www.aic-international.org
AIC – UK
This group became a full rights member in February 2005 and has 53 members in 3 branches in London; Abbeywood, Bexley and Mill Hill, Darlington and Glasgow. It is currently recruiting new members in other parts of the country. Its members work for social inclusion and community enrichment through practical integration projects with deaf people, blind people, homeless people, prisoners, housebound elderly people, the bereaved and people in debt. It is involved in lobbying on poverty related issues, promotes Fair Trade Campaigns and supports a children’s project in Ukaine, the Daughter of Charity’s Kenyan Missions and UK home missions such as The Passage, Out There, Depaul Trust and The Space.
Dee Mansi. AIC UK President. email@example.com. Tel.+44 (0) 2084402555
You will be made very welcome!